04 June 2019 – (Left photo) Consul Arlene T. Magno welcomes the guests to the Kape at Tsokolate event held at Nemesis Coffee on 31 May 2019, which was organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, through the office of the Agriculture Attaché at the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC covering Canada and Vancouver-based enterprises, Kape and Kasama Chocolate. The event aimed to create an awareness in Vancouver of the coffee and chocolate industry in the Philippines while at the same time supporting two local coffee and chocolate businesses founded and owned by Filipinos, using beans sourced directly from the Philippines but roasted and crafted in Vancouver (right photo).
(Top, left photo) Vincent Garcia, Filipino co-founder of Kasama Chocolate, shows where they source their cacao beans from the Philippines. Kasama chocolate is a multicultural group of friends from Vancouver who met several years ago playing roller hockey on the North Shore and discovered that they share a common passion in chocolates. They are based in East Vancouver and their chocolate is made directly from the cacao beans.
(Top, right photo) Kape founder Iona Fresnoza shares her story of promoting ethnically-sourced, farmer-first, direct trade coffee. Before coming to Canada in 2015, she had actively worked with coffee farming communities in the Philippines for over 16 years through Coffee Assistance for Indigenous Development, a non-profit she co-founded. Kape’s coffee is sourced from Benguet and Davao.
(Bottom photo) Fil-Canadian chef Mark Singson describes the food pairings he created for the coffee and chocolate tasting. Chef Mark is the owner of Fam Inc., which specializes in creating unique pop-ups and private dining experiences. He is also the Top Chef Canada season 6 runner up.
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Consul Arlene T. Magno poses with Kape at Tsokolate co-organizers and exhibitors, namely Ed Puentespina of Malagos Chocolate (leftmost), Chef Mark Singson (2L), Kape owner Iona Fresnoza (3R, front row), chocolate sommelier Geoseph Domenichiello (2R), and Kasama Chocolate founders Vincent Garcia (rightmost), Dominik Voser (center, back row) and Estefan Klopp (rightmost, back row). La Glace owner Mark Tagulao (leftmost, back row) generously donated his ice cream to pair with Malagos’ 100% unsweetened chocolate to make tablea ice cream. La Glace is an ice cream parlor serving French artisanal ice cream where Mark incorporates ingredients like kalamansi, ube and pandan to create a Filipino flair.
(Clockwise, photos 1-3) Guests go around four pairing stations manned by chocolatier and chocolate sommelier Geoseph Domenichiello, Kasama Chocolate co-founders, Dominik Voser (foreground) and Estefan Klopp (background), and Kape owner Iona Fresnoza, who introduce the coffee and chocolate pairings, get the guests to taste them individually, together, and paired with food, and interact with them on their appreciation of the tasting. (4th photo) The Consulate’s Administrative Officer Lorraine Espiritu (2L), Cultural Officer Josephine Nacisvalencia (2R), and Consular and Economic Diplomacy Assistant Jeanie-vi Llonora (rightmost) assist Fil-Canadian celebrity chef Mark Singson (leftmost) in preparing the food pairings.
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(Left photo) Ed Puentespina of Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp. talks about their international award-winning chocolates. The company started their cacao farm – Puentespina Farm – in 2003, and it has recently been given the designation of Heirloom cacao. Puentespina Farm is only the 16th in the world to be given this honor and the first in the Philippines. Ed Puentespina is based in Winnipeg and travelled to Vancouver to join the Kape at Tsokolate event.